Continental Improves Safety with Satellite Cameras

Source: Continental

Frankfurt/Las Vegas – Cameras are increasingly becoming the central sensory organs of automobiles and Continental will unveil a complete automotive system during the upcoming CES Show in Las Vegas.

Surround view systems consisting of several satellite cameras provide an all-around view of the vehicle environment from a bird’s eye perspective. Cameras look forward to identify traffic signs, traffic lights or lane markings. And they look back and to the side, for example to make objects in the blind spot visible.

The technology company Continental is bundling these components, which were previously deployed separately, to form a complete system: several satellite cameras provide high-precision image data that is processed and evaluated by a central control unit.

The system is modular, scalable and connected – and it comes from a one-stop shop. Above all, however, the combination of several satellite cameras enables numerous new functions that make driving safer, more comfortable and – if desired – increasingly automated.

The “transparent hood” function developed by Continental and awarded a CES 2020 Innovation Award highlights what an intelligently integrated camera system is capable of. This function went into series production for the first time at the end of 2018 in a SUV of an European car manufacturer.

When driving slowly – such as when parking or off-roading – the ground beneath the engine compartment is displayed on the screen in the vehicle. With the help of the new optical information, a vehicle can be maneuvered precisely and in a controlled manner in narrow parking spaces with high curbs, over speed bumps and potholes, or when off-roading over rocks and rough terrain.

To the driver it looks as though the hood and the engine compartment beneath it are transparent.

“The image of the terrain around the vehicle is provided by the satellite cameras already installed in many vehicles. They are located at the front of the radiator grill, at the rear and there is one at the bottom of each of the side mirrors. However, the satellite cameras themselves cannot depict the space underneath the car. An intelligent Image Processing Algorithm developed by Continental, which also includes different vehicle sensor data, is reconstructing the image under the vehicle and inserts this image exactly into the surround view displayed to the driver”, said Markus Friebe, Head of Visualization Functions at Continental.

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